Ergonomic Workspace Analysis

Abstract Intervention Alternate layouts Conclusions

RULA Analysis

Posture was measured through a standardized rapid upper limb assessment (RULA) tool which includes measures of angular deviation from ideal posture, and consideration of load and balance (McAtamney and Corlett, 1993).

Some improvement was noted in the RULA analysis for different postures. Especially notable was the decrease in strain related to the use of pointing devices for both the Macintosh and the PC. RULA scores in each case dropped from action level 3 to action level 2 (see figure 1 below). This is also true for source document handling with the Macintosh (see illustrations below).

Figure 1.

pc: keyboarding
mac: keyboarding
pc: pointing device
mac: pointing device
answering phone
mac: reaching for source documents

Action Level Legend-

Action level 1 - (a RULA score of 1 or 2) indicates that posture is acceptable if it is not maintained or repeated for long periods.

Action level 2 - (a RULA score of 3 or 4) indicates that further investigation is needed and changes may be required.

Action level 3 - (a RULA score of 5 or 6) indicates that investigation and changes are required soon.

Action level 4 - (a RULA score of 7 or 8) indicates that investigation and changes are required immediately.

(McAtamney and Corlett, 1993)


McAtamney, L. and Corlett, E.N. (1993). RULA: A survey method for the investigation of work-related upper limb disorders. Applied Ergonomics. 24(2). 91-99.

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Abstract Intervention Alternate layouts Conclusions

This page created by
Michele Segal ( and Richard Porter(
Last modified May 16, 1997